Rush seems to see the light in the midst of the financial nightmare in which its Portuguese subsidiary has become Average Capital. This Friday the editor of The country has announced the sale of 64.47% of the company for 36.8 million euros -not including debt- which values it at 150 million euros.
This operation is added to the one that had already been closed before the summer for the sale of 30.22% of Media Capital to Pluris Investments, society of the Portuguese businessman Mario Ferreira. A movement that was carried out through a block transfer of the shares for a price of 10.5 million.
Financial sources consulted by invested indicate that the sale of the new package of shares -with which Prisa completely abandons the company- It has been done between small investors who would not have more than 20% separately. In this way, Pluris would become the majority shareholder.
Prisa warns that the current operation represents a premium of 63% with respect to the price per share offered by Cofina in its aborted voluntary public offering of Media Capital shares, published on August 12.
According to Prisa’s estimates, this transaction will entail an accounting loss in the group’s individual and consolidated accounts of approximately 48.5 million euros.
The operation, which has been authorized by Pluris within the framework of the signed shareholders’ agreement, is conditional on obtaining a waiver of certain financial creditors of Prisa, as well as the authorization of the Portuguese regulatory authorities.
Two failed sales
On March 11, the group Cofina resigned from carrying out its last capital increase, a necessary condition to close the purchase operation of Average Capital a Rush by €170 million. At that time, the publisher of The country announced all legal actions at its disposal to ensure compliance with the contract signed between the parties for the sale of the audiovisual company.
Cofina approved on January 29, 2020 a capital increase with which it would finance the purchase of Average Capital and launched the last requirement to close the operation. However, days later he renounced to carry out this increase “due to market conditions” with which he implied that he was backing down on the purchase.
The acquisition was only pending registration in the Commercial Registry of Portugal (Conservatória de Registo Comercial) and the capital increase approved by Cofina to finance part of the purchase price. In fact, Prisa had already noted the operation in its accounts and had removed the Portuguese audiovisual company from its financial perimeter.
This situation turned the sale of Average Capital in a real drama for Rush which has been for sale since 2017 after two failed operations. In June 2018, the first of these operations was cut short after eleven months of deliberations. The Portuguese regulator blocked the operation considering that there had been a concentration of the audiovisual market between Media Capital and Altice.
After this setback and the loss of the 440 million pledged, the company was in the market since the beginning of 2019 with the main objective of repaying the debt. In September 2019 a new agreement was closed, this time with Cofina, although for 170.6 million, almost half of what it had been valued a year earlier. Now the entire company is sold for 46 million, although without debt.